DAIKIN
Eric Braganza
President,
Haier India

Making Home Appliances Future Ready

The Indian appliances and consumer electronics (ACE) industry has been stagnant the previous year, not just in terms of consumers, increase in spending capacity, and the changing regulatory climate, but also from the standpoint of the proliferation of technology in the form of connected devices, smart homes, and gadgets. From this perspective, the doors of industry are opening up to a whole new world of opportunities that place ACE directly in the path of transitioning into a dollar-positive one.

Considering that Indian consumers today are increasingly demanding for electronics, it is indicative that domestic consumption is on the rise. The Indian manufacturing industry is steadily moving up the ladder from import reliance to an increase in domestic production and exports. While import substitution has aided us in moving away from import reliance in a pronounced manner, competitiveness on a global scale is yet to be achieved. Several other factors are also fueling the growth of this industry in India, like rural electrification, increasing disposable incomes, customer exposure and awareness to new technologies, and evolving lifestyle aspirations.

According to a NASSCOM report, Indian IoT market is expected to reach USD 15 billion by 2020 and constitute 5 percent of the global market. The landscape of smart technologies has moved on from personal tech gadgets to a more integrated platform that encompasses utility products, including home appliances. It has reached segments such as refrigerators, washing machines, TVs, air conditioners, and air purifiers, among others. With the government also propelling the smart city initiative forward, these tech-enabled products will soon become mainstream and reality in households.

Even though smart homes might be the trend in the industry, but home appliances are moving beyond smart. Innovations in the market are not just about being connected, they are about digital intelligence that simplifies daily life. By offering consumers relevant benefits, such as saving time, peace of mind, and security, innovative home appliances are poised for future growth.

The task at hand for white goods manufacturers is to help consumers understand that this new generation of innovative home appliances is not merely connected and controllable via their devices, they offer so much more. Connected consumers need to be convinced of the bolder vision of a future where appliances with digital intelligence eliminate boring, repetitive household tasks, and allow them to enjoy their daily lives. If the industry can achieve this, it will be rewarded with sustainable long-term value growth.

Additionally, with the boost in local manufacturing to make India a global hub has provided the impetus and scale that our industry requires to become dollar-positive. The central government’s Make in India initiative is enabling companies to move in that direction faster as there are a greater number of investments coming into the industry in terms of making superior-quality products, enabling better R&D facilities, and strengthening service and distribution networks. With several economic factors going in our favor now and with the government leading strong support to the appliances and consumer electronics industry from a regulatory and policy standpoint, the industry is slowly but steadily gearing up towards the vision of 2030.

Looking at the gold mine of opportunities that India is offering, players across the globe are enhancing their presence in the market. With the influx of players coming in, innovation is one aspect that will set apart one manufacturer from the other. In the cluttered Indian market, it is imperative for brands to create differentiation with value-driven propositions for the customers that are customized to suit their needs and resonate with their values.

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